Before Isabelle came along I never really gave a second thought to gender related toys, I grew up around my male cousins and in the 80’s/early 90’s it wasn’t a big thing, we shared no matter what the toys were. Now it seems as though gender specific toys and clothes have rocketed.
Earlier this week I witnessed a mother stopping her child from playing, he was playing dress up with Isabelle and sporting a rather fetching cowboy hat…it was pink and adorned with sequins. To me I see nothing wrong with that but his mother proclaimed it was for girls and he mustn’t play with it. The only thing wrong that I saw was stopping a child from playing, at the age of three do you really want to be inflicting gender stereotypes onto your child? It’s not necessary. I see nothing wrong with little boys pushing dolls and bears in prams and if a girl wants to play with train sets and workbenches then let her.
My daughter doesn’t see things as being for boys or girls, she she’s them as toys, toys that she likes to play with. Not matter what colour they are, pink, blue, green, yellow, it really makes no difference. Why do shops have signs for girls toys and signs for boys toys?
What really frustrates me is how toys are now being marketed in boys and girls ranges, why oh why is this happening? Why does there need to be colour variations in pink and blue of the exact same toy? Do we need to have a doctors set in pink for girls and a set labelled for boys to? Without wanting to open a huge can of worms, it shouldn’t be pink, girly Barbie’s for girls and macho blues, browns and greens for boys.
On a recent shopping trip, Isabelle picked out a grey diplodocus, her favourite of the dinosaurs and also a teenage mutant ninja turtle surprise egg because, well, she loves turtles. We really have no issues about what Isabelle chooses to play with (as long as it is age appropriate). We want her to be free of insecurities, so yes I will let her play in the dirt, she will continue her collection of cars and she will wear that “boys” Dinosaur Train t-shirt, it doesn’t have to be all princesses, dolls and pink Lego. Gender neutral should be how it’s done and I congratulate those stores that are taking notice and following the gender neutral route.
We should let toys be toys!